Links 9/30/22

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

* * *

Despite ‘desert tsunami,’ one of the world’s rarest fish are thriving in Death Valley Fort Worth Star-Telegram.\. And the cotton are high.

Trouble at the OECD Inside Story

BlackRock threatened to halt trading at height of UK market tumult FT

The Blackstone rebellion: how one country took on the world’s biggest commercial landlord Guardian


6 largest US banks to join Fed’s first-ever climate scenario exercise Banking Dive

World banks financially support the Amazon’s deforestation: Report Al Mayadeen

New EWG analysis: Of $7.4B spent on two of USDA’s biggest conservation programs in recent years, very little went to ‘climate-smart’ agriculture Environmental Working Group

Hurricane Ian again a Category 1 storm over the Atlantic as Central Florida still reels in its wake Orlando Sentinel

Florida Landlord Reminds Tenants Fleeing Flood That Lease Doesn’t Include Rooftop Access The Onion


Lake Erie’s Failed Algae Strategy Hurts Poor Communities the Most Circle of Blue

Beneath This Sea, A Sculpture Garden Is Saving an Ecosystem Reasons to be Cheerful


Can we clean Covid from the air around us? Chemistry World. Yes.

Intranasal & Co: A Very Big Month for Mucosal Covid Vaccines Hilda Bastian, PLOS, “What about WHO authorization and mucosal vaccines? As of the end of September, none appear to be under evaluation there yet.” What a shock!

America is skeptical of the ‘dark horse’ COVID vaccine others abroad can’t get enough of Fortune. They’ve just gotta keep the brand out of the headline, don’t they? But the URL begins: america-skeptical-novavax….


The U.S. and EU brace for Xi Jinping’s third-term challenge Politico

China’s common prosperity drive for shared wealth to get fresh push as ‘strategic goal’ during party congress South China Morning Post

Countering China, the U.S. Signs a Broad Deal to Aid Pacific Nations NYT


Myanmar junta restricts access to corporate registry database Myanmar Now

Vietnam Becomes Asia’s Economic Leader as China’s Growth Decelerates The Diplomat


Iran’s Crisis of Legitimacy Foreign Affairs

How a video taken out of context made Hadis Najafi a symbol of repression in Iran The Observers, France 24

Exclusive: Tracking the flow of stolen Syrian oil into Iraq The Cradle

Dear Old Blighty

For Liz Truss, the only way is up (or out) Politico. Commentary:

Record number of nurses quitting the NHS BBC. I’m sure when Sir Keir Rodney Starmer KCB KC becomes Prime Minister he will put the kibosh on the efforts to wreck the NHS and sell it off for parts to American consulting firms.

How Britain’s Labour Party Became a Criminal Conspiracy Against Its Members Mint Press

European Disunion

Eurozone inflation hits record 10% as energy prices continue to soar FT

New Not-So-Cold War

The Blob has form:

Whodunnit? I guess we’ll never know:

Satellites Capture First Images of Nord Stream’s Methane Leaks Bloomberg. Pipeline metallurgy:

China takes a view:

* * *

In Washington, Everyone Wins if Ukraine Wins Foreign Policy. Exactly.

How the War in Ukraine Might End The New Yorker. There seems to be no place for propaganda in “war termination theory.”

Russia’s military isn’t ready for an escalation. Ukraine and its partners can exploit that. Atlantic Council

The U.S. and Europe are running out of weapons to send to Ukraine CNBC

Putin Can Afford at Least Two More Years of War The Wilson Center

* * *

Leave Crimea Alone The American Conservative

The New York Times on Ukraine: Vietnam Déjà Vu Ray McGovern,

Why Bolsonaro’s Auto-Coup Will Fail: An Interview With Manuel Gerson BrasilWire

Biden Administration

Biden appoints 1st diplomat dedicated to biodiversity The Week. Ron Klain’s wife.

Justices shield spouses’ work from potential conflict of interest disclosures Politico. Huh.

Six States Sue to Block Biden Student Debt Cancellation Plan WSJ

Space Force anthem ensures aliens will never contact Earth Duffel Blog

Intelligence Community

Statement on the fatal flaws found in a defunct CIA covert communications system CitizenLab and America’s Throwaway Spies Reuters. To be a friend is fatal….

The CIA Just Invested in Woolly Mammoth Resurrection Technology The Intercept

Our Famously Free Press

YouTube Apologizes, Reverses Demonetization Decision Matt Taibbi, TK News. But check out YouTube’s moderation policy on elections, supplied by Taibbi:

Under this policy, any discussion (say, by Hillary Clinton) of Florida 2000, where Jebbie purged the voter rolls in an MR SUBLIMINAL Bud from Legal insists I say “apparent,” here effort to hand the state to his brother who was running for President at the time would be demonetized. Cray cray.

Hill TV Censors Segment On Rashida Tlaib’s Description of Israel as “Apartheid Government,” Bars Reporter The Intercept. Reporter is Katie Halper. More cray cray.


FAA says Boeing has not completed work needed for 737 MAX 7 approval Reuters

With 2 MAX models at risk, Congress moves to give Boeing a break Seattle Times

Guillotine Watch

The Forbes 400 2022 Forbes

Class Warfare

‘We Need $5 an Hour’: Amazon Workers ‘Insulted’ by Wage Bump Sourcing Journal

Is Your Supply Chain Susceptible to Forced Labor? Industry Week

A mad, mad world Times Literary Supplement

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. JohnA

    Re FAA says Boeing has not completed work needed for 737 MAX 7 approval

    according to the flightradar24 app and looking at flight info both Ryanair and Norwegian appear to be flying 737 Max now.

      1. JohnA

        OK, thanks. I did know ryanair ceo o’leary was very bullish about flying them. I could only read the intro as not registered with Reuters.

  2. JohnA

    Re Nordstream sabotage. Sweden is now reporting record levels of methane over the country. No surprise there. The media are caught in a cleft stick, complaining about the environment damage, determined to avoid any possibility of blaming the US/Poland etc. They are still keen to point the finger at Putin as a deranged madman painted into a corner, that he is ignoring his military advisors, that the country is in uproar about the mobilisation and more. Dagens Nyheter (roughly equiv to the Guardian) asks ‘why did Putin place such an effective weapon in the Baltic? while another of its columnists says he is in rhapsodies about the way Ukraine uses music in its propaganda and that works perfectly for him.
    As some of the damage is in the Swedish economic zone, it is hard to imagine the Swedish government/military were kept totally in the dark.

    1. Ignacio

      Not that hard to imagine. This is war and lots of considerations we considered normal in the past are now laid apart.

      1. Polar Socialist

        It’s not merely a war thing, but Sweden made the “educated” choice to become part of NATO and thus is expected to just bend over and ask for more, please.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Yeah, the US just declared war on the EU – and have hit them with their very own Pearl Harbour. And now ‘all options are on the table.’

        1. hk

          If the British could kill more than 1000 French sailors in a surprise attack, in an act of brutal betrayal, in 1940 when they were still allies and basically got away Scot free because, restrospectively, they were the “good guys,” why not?

          1. Stephen

            That’s a great point. We (the UK) completely turned on an ally who had quite legitimately signed an armistice. We then recognized a rebel de Gaulle as France’s true regime rather than the constituted government. But British history views it as a “glorious” episode.

            It was also partly done allegedly to pander to the Americans. FDR wanted the French fleet out of the fight and even tried to get the Royal Navy to sail to US waters. He apparently pressed MacKenzie Smith, the Canadian PM to get the UK to do that. Peter Hitchens’ revisionist book “The Phoney War” is very good on this.

            Morality is very malleable depending on one’s perspective! UK pandering to the US has also become somewhat reflexive after eighty years of doing it too.

            1. JTMcPhee

              How much of what is transpiring is US dog being wagged by raddled British Imperial tail? Le Carre’s last book sure paints a glorious picture of an aging institution with a skill set that features sneakery and plotting and destabilization with complete defenestration of an kind of moral compass. Everything is “operations,” without homeostatic or even consistently logical direction, with the US sneaks often being ignorant junior partners so easily manipulable by the long-in-the-yellowed-tooth Brits.

              So who is pandering to whom? Maybe it’s just a kind of circle jerk, with lots of players getting off while the house burns down around them…

              1. Mike

                The US learned the regime change game from the Brits (reference Rockefeller, BP and Shell takeover of the middle east), who had perfected it. But that seems like it was a 100 years ago so I think it this point it would just be a mutual circle jerk, I think. I guess also at this point many of our illustrious corporations are stateless and play the game across multiple borders.

            2. David

              I don’t think anyone in Britain regarded the destruction of the French fleet at Oran as glorious. Remember that the new French government of Pétain had decided on an active policy of “collaboration” with Hitler and, after the Armistice, their Fleet was all they had left by way of military power to bargain with. The British were (legitimately) afraid that if the French decided to use their fleet against the British, to curry favour with the Germans, things could get very bad. The British offered the French a choice of scuttling their ships, going to a neutral port or being sunk. The Admiral commanding the French fleet (and remember the Navy was the most anti-British and reactionary of the services) chose to interpret this as “fight or die” and decided to fight. The American were not involved.

          2. Mike

            I guess I learned an alternate history where the French were unsure which side they were on and playing a delay tactic until the US and Brits invaded North Africa and gave them an ultimatum by way of the barrel of Stuart tanks.

  3. Old Sovietologist

    It looks like the Ukrainian Army is going for an all out assault to capture Lyman. There going to throw a lot of bodies into the fire. Its going to be very bloody for them but sheer numbers could force another Russian retreat.

    1. anon in so cal

      It is already being labeled just that. Been following L and guess I need to chill again. Will be difficult. Also reading that Z (and the CIA) have been trying to foment something in Dagestan.

    2. timbers

      If after joining Donbas & Co to Russia and she proceeds to use her military to bring this war to an end by targeting decision making centers and rail infrastructure to deny Ukraine troops re-supplies…might this explain some recent interesting chatter about exactly why is the US talking up nuclear use? Is the US laying ground work for a nuclear false flag to happen when Russia starts taking out Ukraine military and decision centers?

      Beyond that, and when Russia finally decides to use more of her capability, the next stage may be what we already see the US moving to: a long war of state sponsored terrorism on Russian infrastructure.

      This might be one more reason she needs to wrap this war up and move on to getting ready for that. No doubt in my mind, the West will never ever accept what Russia is doing. So Russia must be prepared for eternal tension, which is not really all that different than before this all started.

      Regarding Odessa, not sure. When the partial mobilization starts and given the high rate of Ukraine casualties, Russia may find taking Odessa to be comparatively easier. Or she might decide to stop. Or if Russia takes out Zelensky, Putin might try to negotiate with who ever replaces him and pause before Odessa can be taken.

      Odessa would be an improvement for a few reasons. Yet no doubt the US will find a way to create a massive naval port south of that in Romania or Bulgaria.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I figure it’s a way to declare victory. Biden’s steely resolve kept Putin from using nukes. All the blood and treasure wasn’t wasted.

        Between the emerging Euro economic crisis and running out of supplies, the Ukrainians are going to be in for a long winter, and I think the Western expectation is the Russians will retire for winter, giving them time to rearm and reorganize. The Ukrainian general has discussed Spring campaign plans. The problem with winter is calories, clothing, and wind. A well equipped army can solve this. It may be slower going, but the problem Russian invaders had was Napoleon foraged and the Germans had inane supply lines with fuel problems fighting against a better military than Germans who fled to the US claimed.

        1. Old Sovietologist

          Well it looks like Stoltenberg and Blinken actually ignored/rejected Ukraine’s application to join NATO.

          Truss is clueless says she will respect the sovereign choice of the population and immediately declares that she does not recognize the illegal annexation. The mind boggles at what’s going on between her ears.

          1. Glen

            Now, now, let’s not pick too much on the hired help. They are going to increasingly look/sound like idiots as they try to implment their masters orders.

            Which leads one to wonder, who is calling the shots over there? American elites make it much easier with di¢k shaped rockets, giant glass balls, and trucks with grinning di¢ks as a logo. He might as well put “[Family blogging] suck it, America!” on everything he touchs. It would help if the EU elites would adopt similar branding.

          2. Tom Stone

            I believe Liz Truss’es ears are located on her thighs.
            Listen to what comes out of her mouth if you don’t believe me.

      2. Lex

        I’m guessing Odessa is probably shelved for the moment. Russia will take the rest of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia because it now has to. I assume Kharkov is stabilized but no new offensive. Maybe some advance planned for Nikolaev. And then pause.

        Or maybe not. There were a lot of indications for a whole that large forces were built up in the south that have never been used. Russia may push for all that it wants now. The danger there is will the US directly intervene and/or allow some sort of Ukrainian nuclear use of it looks like a total collapse is coming.

        If I’m in the kremlin, I’d consolidate what I have and reach the minimum I’d accept in terms of territory and then wait. That will play well with allies and allow some “high ground” maneuver in geopolitics. Wait for the Ukrainians or the US to do something stupid with a large Russian military presence bristling at the borders to punish it. But mostly let things cool down if possible and allow Europeans to think for a bit.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Maybe just for the moment. My guess is the next step is a more rigorous response to the Ukrainian attacks on the newer parts of the Russian Federation. There are 20,000 Ukrainians trying to capture one town.

          My guess is there will be a lull, with minor Russian advances, and bombing of warehouses and transit points with advances offer of negotiations. The goal will be to convince the remains of the Ukrainian military that Russia won’t wait for the Spring. Kiev is promising a Spring offensive. I suspect they believe their will be a winter lull.

          1. Stephen

            I agree on the lull. Apparently, we are entering mid season. That used to stop everything in WW2 as well. But once the ground freezes in late October or November then one suspects there is no military reason for a lull.

            I did see some western media comments that Russia cannot fight in winter and has not got the right clothing. These were particularly delusional views in an ocean of delusion.

            1. Polar Socialist

              There is a lot of talk (and videos, too) about Russia massing men and equipment in Belgorod area (north of Kharkov) and in the Zaporozhya/Kherson direction.

              Some of the equipment seems to be going for the Donbass militias, since there are no crew or ammo cars in the trains, just tanks.

              I have a hunch that the lull will be a short one. Unless it’s all maskirovka.

        2. timbers

          I agree with you, Lex and add IMO speed is of the essence now because no question in my mind nukes/false flags/nukes magically appearing in Ukraine hands are absolutely on the table. Russia needs to start fighting a war, not a SMO. If she fumbles this then the West will indeed bleed her to death.

        3. Tor User

          They also need the rest of Kherson and now the rest of Luhansk as they have lost a bit of it in the last week or so.

          1. Old Sovietologist

            If the Ukrainian Army fails to take Lyman within the next three or four days, the situation could change dramatically and thousands of Ukrainian troops could find themselves encircled when they have to hastily retreat.

            1. Tor User

              Yup,either that or push the alleged gap between Lyman and the front line further away from Lyman, leaving Territorial Defense units around Lyman to wait the Russians out.

              Late word is that the Russians might have mounted something of a counterattack towards Lyman to keep some sort of overland route open.

  4. griffen

    Hurricane Ian is knocking at the proverbial watery gates to Charleston this morning, and seems most likely continuing north towards Columbia or east of there into North Carolina. A lot of rain and wind to follow, says today’s edition of Mr. Obvious or No Duh Dude.

    Fortunately this course veered eastward enough, so those much like myself in the upstate region of SC avoid a direct impact but we’re exposed to the west portion of the storm. Wind gusts were picking up yesterday. Definitely cooled off however.

    1. Tictock

      If they can afford $80,000,000,000 for Ukraine, at least we know the federal government will be forthcoming with cash payments, loans, reconstruction and other monies to rebuild Florida and the Carolinas.

      1. griffen

        Oddly enough or perhaps not so odd, there is a definite rule of thumb when it comes to disasters and hurricane recoveries. FEMA calls the shots and when and how much funds are disbursed. I can’t place the article immediately, but in recent weeks it was covered here.

        Apparently there is a middle management / consulting industry built out with previous FEMA employees to provide assistance. I think that article was covering the rebuild of tiny Mexico Beach in AL.

        And I may sound as being highly or overly cynical, but a rebuild of portions of SW Florida probably should get a thorough review.

  5. zagonostra

    >The New York Times on Ukraine: Vietnam Déjà Vu Ray McGovern,

    ...the American public had been coming to the conclusion that the war was a mistake, but having been indoctrinated for so many years about our “vital interests” in Vietnam, opposition did not really gather steam until it was too late.

    And today, for the Establishment media, it is déjà vu all over again, to quote Yogi Berra – again.

    True, but today there is something called the Internet. Sites like NC and other select sources provide a counter narrative to what the NYT, WaPo, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS are doling out. Also, many, well maybe just some, have taken an interest in their own recent history. They know what the Church Commission in the 70’s revealed, they know that about Project Mocking Bird and other covert operations have been used to direct domestic public opinion.

    What has me feeling pessimistic is that this new tool, the Internet and independent journalism, won’t matter. The levers of power are firmly in the hands of those who control the money spigots and they’ll do what ever is necessary to maintain power. They will act in their self-interest and worry about how to spin the story afterwards, sometimes they will prepare the public with “predictive programming.” The results of their actions will be analyzed, deconstructed, and criticized after they have been executed. When the dirty deed is done and humanity is left worse off and more tightly controlled then ever, it will be too late and thousands if not millions will be dead or economically worse off.

    1. pjay

      Good points. As McGovern shows, our mainstream media has always been a vehicle of propaganda. It just used to take much longer for the truth to trickle out to the reading public. This, of course, explains today’s frenzied attempt to control the internet narrative and censor any alternative views.

      I do think that part of the McGovern quote you cite is misleading. It wasn’t the “American public” coming to the conclusion that Vietnam was a mistake that finally ended it. Rather, a faction of the elite decided it was time to cut our losses and get out, and we did so – in a costly and messy manner (we would repeat this in Afghanistan). The “media” began to allow some important questions when members of the Establishment began to ask them. This is also an important lesson, given the complete bipartisan Establishment support for our current destruction of Ukraine

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Widespread fragging of mid-level officers when they became dangerously gung-ho and sacrificial of the rank and file also contributed to the decision to leave Vietnam.

        1. pjay

          I agree, as this was a symptom of the general morass Viet Nam had become, a situation that finally began to convince some members of the Establishment that it was a hopeless endeavor.

          My feelings on Otis’ comment about protests are more ambivalent. Although large, I’m not sure they were a huge factor outside liberal enclaves like college campuses. The general public was never that sympathetic to them. Polls after the Chicago convention showed that a majority of the public actually supported Mayor Daley’s gestapo! I remember reading how this shocked the mainstream media, since some of their reporters had been victims. But once Uncle Walter Cronkite and the mainstream media began to challenge the narrative, then the patriotic silent majority could legitimately question a war in which their sons were being sacrificed – and they did.

          1. Otis B Driftwood

            Kent State was a turning point. Sympathy toward the college protests and Nixon’s handling of the war changed for good after those kids were murdered.

            1. pjay

              I think by 1970 the tide had turned on Vietnam, and there was growing criticism of the war among both the elite and a growing segment of the population – though it would be three more years before we left.

              I don’t want to minimize the protests of the period. I think they were important for a lot of reasons, including their educational value. They may have had some effect on elite decision-makers as well (especially those who had kids in college). I remember Kent State well. I was a sophomore in high school, pretty naive but starting to become politically aware. Because of this I was outraged, but most people in my small midwestern town were not that moved. Sad at the deaths, yes, but they felt the protesters were at fault and had brought the tragedy on themselves. I think this was pretty typical around the country – perhaps not in higher class enclaves, but in much of the country. I’m constantly defending “deplorables” (of which I was one) from elite condescension. But I have pretty clear memories of this tumultuous period. Nixon ran for reelection in 1972. What happened?

              Again, for me, the Anti-War Movement was very important. It had a lifelong effect on my life. But I do not think it ended the war. The Vietnamese did that by making it too costly for our decision-makers to continue their delusional hubris. *That* is the lesson they have forever failed to learn. What they did learn was the importance of controlling the media, and the narrative.

      2. Robert Hahl

        Dan Ellsburg’s book “Secrets” says that the Congress voted to cut funding for the war immediately after Nixon resigned. Nixon was the only person in government with the power to either stop or continue the war, and once he was gone there was nobody in a position to prevent the anti-war Congresscritters from ending it.

        Ellsburg implies but does not say that he essentially brought an end to the war as a result of the fact that Nixon went crazy (no hype) over the Pentagon Papers. For instance, Nixon started leaking information about war decisions made by LBJ and Kennedy since they were Democrats, and even had forgeries of State Dept. cables ready to go blaming the Diem assassination on Kennedy. A must read.

      3. Tom Stone

        Marches,Riots, protests and the “Will of the People” had nothing to do with the end of the Vietnam War.
        I was there, grew up in the East Bay and hung out more in Berkeley on Telegraph Ave than the Haight.
        The Church my Family attended until things got lively was the Vedanta Temple across the street from People’s Park.
        I recall walking to Church along Telegraph Ave and passing the boys from Stanford in their baby blue pickup truck handing out free LSD from a garbage can full of Blotter acid.
        And I remember “the first one on my block to come home in a box”.
        Enough money had been made by the right people and there were other distractions present and looming that a sensible element of the elite decided it was time to leave.
        Keeping the money spigots flowing ( Bombing) open as long as we could.
        Smedley Butler said it well.

      4. juno mas

        There were some media members on the ground in Vietnam that were relatively objective. But I’d say (having lived it) that the ritual of unloading flag-draped, aluminum caskets at Dover AFB in full view of TV cameras, along with Cronkite’s palpable disdain for General Westmoreland’s facile narrative was the beginning of the end.

        The anti-war protests were not the defining element that changed perceptions. Construction workers were attacking protest parades in NYC. The Kent State massacre occurred in 1970.

    2. nippersdad

      “The levers of power are firmly in the hands of those who control the money spigots and they’ll do what ever is necessary to maintain power.”

      On a related topic, we paid off my bet about NordStream on the 27th. This morning we got a message from PayPal that our account had been suspended pending explanation of the word “nordstream” in the tagline. We told them that is was paying off a bet, and that if they were changing their business model to espionage they were welcome to close our account. WC has now been paid, no apologies proffered.

      That’s the “land of the free and home of the brave” ca 2022 for you. We are not amused.

    3. Carolinian

      Yes we’ll all be worse off but the money power will also be crippled under the “hubris leads to nemesis” theory that is as old as ancient Greece. The powerful probably know this too which is why they spend so much time fretting about threats to their power from others who think like them. It’s hard not to conclude therefore that it is the power itself that “corrupts” and brings down societies. But they just can’t help themselves due to that other aspect of power: too much is never enough.

      It probably helps to have a thoughtful, rational person wielding the power. Biden is not that person. IMO

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        It”s worth remembering that none of this would be happening if Trump was president instead of biden, and managed to stay alive through his second term.

        1. Carolinian

          Trump and Pompeo did build up the Ukrainian army so they are part of this. But I agree that Trump wouldn’t have tried to provoke a war. Trump pandered to the neocons but he wasn’t one of them. His criticism of Bush jr made that clear.

        2. pjay

          I’m not sure about that. I saw no evidence that Trump could handle the National Security Establishment at all. He was often goaded into macho actions, he appointed terrible neocons to key posts, he surrounded himself with mediocre ex-generals (most of which he did manage to drive off), his terrible policies toward Israel and Iran were basically those of his largest donor and his son in law, he threw money at the military like there was no tomorrow. It is true Trump was hated by the Establishment as an unpredictable outsider who might accidentally mess things up for them. And he did start the process of getting out of Afghanistan (and made noises about Syria and Iraq). But I don’t think he had the knowledge, the allies, or even the will to do much to resist the Deep State. The idea that he is some kind of anti-imperialist threat to the neocon/neolib MIC is wishful thinking at best.

        3. Michael Fiorillo

          Trump unilaterally broke the INF treaty with Russia and continued arming ukraine, so I wouldn’t be so quick to describe him as a peacenik

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            I never said Trump was a peacenik. But I am certain that a “president,” in full possession of his or her faculties and not on a 50-year fortress america absolute power trip, would not dementia walk into destroying Germany / Europe or starting WWIII.

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              “Peacenik,” a derogatory term meant to suggest either fealty or being duped by Godless Communism, from the Vietnam era, was used ironically

              In 2016, as reported by Matt Taibbi, Trump would throw rhetorical bombs out and see what kind of crowd response he got. Those that received a warm response were incorporated into his stump speech. Thus, the frequent refrains about Iraq, Afghanistan and TPP.

              However, as other commenters have pointed out, Trump, even if he truly believed in what he was saying, was almost always outplayed by members of the Permanent Government, and helped bring about and is inseparable from the conflict we now observe.

              To think otherwise is quite naive.

        4. Robert Hahl

          Here is President Trump speaking at the UN as he extends the Monroe Doctrine to cover western Europe, and warned Germany to get off of Russian energy or else.

          The only good thing about this situation and may bring clarity to USA’ns is that, obviously, if Trump were doing these things, many would be saying that “none of this would be happening if” Biden were President.

        5. CitizenSissy

          Not at all; Russia would likely be on the march through Poland and the Baltics. Getting the band back together.

      2. Tom Stone

        Power is the most addictive thing known to Mankind.
        “There Isn’t enough”.
        Just like there isn’t enough Cocaine, Booze, Sex…whatever.
        It is a defining aspect of addiction.
        And American Politicians remind me vividly of blown out cokeheads and terminal alcoholics.
        I can envision Slow Joe as a damp brain dry drunk very easily…

  6. griffen

    Bonus antidote looks to be a set up. Those flamingo decoys do look pretty real though !! Sort of like the patio furniture instructions on preparing that I caught somewhere, yesterday, offering direction for the newer FL residents to store their patio items directly into the pool. Could’ve been here, honestly.

  7. digi_owl

    It says a lot that one can no longer tell a Onion headline from real news these days.

    And you can say a lot about the Chinese, but they do seem to have class. That cartoon is far better than the chain of anti-Putin slop that was doing the rounds over ar r/europe in recent years.

    And thanks for reminding me that i should follow that cat’s twitter account. I need some proper British snark in my day.

    Oh, and if Russia is not ready to escalate then what is NATO given that they seem to be running out of ammo to paw off? A nice reminder that you can’t run a war on a credit card.

        1. Revenant

          Perhaps Colonel Smithers or even PK-across-the-water can comment but the press reaction to the financial markets er, “gyrations” and the simultaneous acclaim of Sir Keir “safe pair of Trilateral Commission hands” Starmer seems a touch too loud and desperate and, dare I say, concerted….

          Truss has obviously either offended somebody important or has taken the job as a seat-warmer for somebody else. Perhaps a spell of national government with Sir Krishi Starmak beckons?

      1. nippersdad


        Britain would be better led if they had a PM that liked balls of yarn better than international intrigue.

  8. Sibiryak

    How the War in Ukraine Might End–The New Yorker

    Wow, finally some fresh, ideology-free analysis. For example:

    Vladimir Putin’s initial miscalculation that he could overrun Ukraine in a matter of days was a classic case of informational asymmetry; it was also a classic instance of a repressive regime being fed poor information by its own people.

    * * * * *

    The revelations of Russian weakness and Ukrainian strength have buoyed the Ukrainian public; the discovery of the massacres of civilians at Bucha and now Izyum have enraged it. If once there was space in Ukrainian public opinion for concessions to Russia, that space has now closed.

    * * * * *

    [Branislav Slantchev] believes that the Russian front in the Donbas is still in danger of imminent collapse. If this were to happen, Putin would need to escalate even further. This could take the form of more attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, but, if the goal is to stop Ukrainian advances, a likelier option would be a small tactical nuclear strike.

    This seems to be the most reasonable prediction:

    Reiter believes that the war could end short of an absolute outcome, such as the destruction of the Russian Federation. “You really don’t like to leave in place a country that is going to offer some kind of lingering threat,” he said. “However, sometimes that’s just the world you have to live in, because it’s just too costly to actually remove the threat completely.”

    He saw a future in which Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire and then gradually turned itself into a “military hedgehog,” a prickly country that no one would want to invade. “Medium-sized states can protect themselves even from very dangerous adversaries,” Reiter said. “Ukraine can make itself more defensible into the future, but it will look a lot different as a country and as a society than it did before the invasion.”

    It would look more like Israel, with high taxes, military spending, and lengthy mandatory military service.

    1. Stephen

      I bet the young people who left Ukraine will all be so keen to return for that idyllic vision that he paints.

    2. The Rev Kev

      What happens if Zelensky has the fuel from their remaining nuclear reactors used to build a coupla dirty bombs? And threatens to use them with the missiles that they have left if Russia does not evacuate those Regions that they have just lost? A coupla months ago I would have written that off as a bad Tom Clancy story but having watched the Ukraine steadily bombard a nuclear power plant with artillery for months on end with no country willing to call them out does make you wonder.

      1. nippersdad

        From what I understand a dirty bomb does not have much range, but the response would be horrific. I can’t think of a faster way for world opinion to decisively turn against Ukraine and its’ supporters than the use of a dirty bomb on civilian populations.

        But, then, none of them are all that bright.

        1. KD

          Yes, but remember Russia has been bombing civilians in the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk since 2014, heck, they just bombed 25 Russian ethnics fleeing to the Russian-controlled area of Zaporozhye Oblast (check the MSM) and if a dirty bomb erupted in a Russian-occupied region, everyone would know it was a false flag in order to justify Putin’s desperate decision to use nukes to try and save his failing war, and NATO would be justified in retaliating. Putin is a madman–he was even shelling a nuclear power plant under his control–and waited until he turned off the power to Ukraine before he did it. He probably took out his own pipelines.

          1. vao

            He also shelled (with 155mm NATO ordnance) one of the camps where he held members of the Azov battalion prisoners, and assassinated (with a remotely-controlled explosive package) Maria Dugina, a stauch pro-Russian journalist.

            Somehow Putin loves to bomb its own camp left and right — and he even finds the time to bomb the Ukrainian army!

        2. Michael Ismoe

          But if they use the bomb and then blame Russia….

          They just condemned a portion of Germany to freezing to death this winter. Why would Ukie lives be important to them?

          1. nippersdad

            I doubt that blaming Russia for a dirty bomb would actually fly, even here. I mean, Russia already has thousands of regular nukes in all shapes, sizes and colors, why would they need a dirty one, much less use it on the people they have just brought into the Russian fold?

            Unless Biden wants to play the Fonz and jump his own shark, I think that would be just a bit much. Now, if they were to bomb Kiev or Ramstein with a more standard tactical nuke that might play, for a while. There is still the end game to think about, though, and not even Fonzie would want to jump into those kinds of shark infested waters.

            Poor Biden. He thought it would all be photo shoots of him for Vogue, wearing leather jackets, aviator glasses and driving a Corvette. He really was not prepared for this kind of thing.

            1. amechania

              No doubt they have arms, but the wests ground based missles couldnt take out a bridge they hit a few times.

              America had 200 ground missle launchers when this started. We put it all into air power, cuz politics.

      2. David

        What people describe as “dirty bombs” are essentially conventional explosive devices that distribute low-level radioactive waste across a small area: small, because such waste can’t travel very far. (I’ve been told that the only real danger comes from being close enough to be hurt by the conventional explosion.) The idea of trying to pack nuclear fuel from a power station into a missile and fire it sounds like an elaborate and expensive way to commit suicide.

    3. Bart Hansen

      Yesterday on Crosstalk, with Pepe and G. Doctorow, the prediction was that by making the four oblasts part of Russia, an attack on them would be an attack on Russia and therefore be the beginning of the end for Ukraine.

    4. pjay

      I liked this passage; a nice example of the false balance that characterizes ideology masking as rigorous academic inquiry:

      – “Russia claimed that it could not trust Ukraine to not become, in essence, a NATO state; Ukraine, for its part, had no reason to trust a Russian regime that had repeatedly broken promises and invaded it in February with no provocation…”

      No provocation … like, say, becoming in essence a NATO state.

      Yes. Serious, fact-based academic research for serious, fact-based liberal readers discussed in the serious, fact-based New Yorker.

      1. nippersdad

        There is so much of that going on. This article in Politico* is almost entirely about using the dollar as a weapon in hybrid warfare. The first twelve paras are all about arming Ukraine and new monetary sanctions, and then we get to this:

        “The choice of the people in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson, we will not discuss. It has been made. Russia will not betray it,” Putin said.

        He largely used the rest of his speech to air conspiracies and accusations against the West, which he claimed is waging a “hybrid-war” against Russia. He attempted to paint a version of events where the West is pushing a “neocolonial” system and using the “dollar as a power tool.”

        I am amazed that anyone believes any of this anymore.


        1. Stephen

          I caught clips of some of the speech just now. iEarlGrey has a video of it, amongst others.

          People in the room looked very serious. They are playing for real. A Telegram channel had a close up on Kadyrov, the Chechen leader. He was holding back tears as Putin spoke. Putin himself looked emotional to me too when the four representatives of the new provinces all shook his hand en masse and the whole auditorium started to chant “Russia, Russia”.

          Compared to similar western gatherings these days, this looked far more business like. These people mean it. We should be figuring out how to be friends with these people. Fighting Russia never turns out well. They may take time, and even need multiple rounds but they prevail in the end. Sweden, France, Finland, Germany, the Ottoman Empire and Japan all discovered this in the past.

          1. Old Sovietologist

            The BBC have described Putin’s speech as a full of anti-western bile.

            Putin blamed the The US & UK for the explosion of the SP-1 and 2 gas pipelines. I have to say I wasn’t expecting him to make that so clear,

            Putin signing the four regions into the Russian Federation is a big morale boost for the Russians. What comes next?

            1. Polar Socialist

              BBC is not wrong. The parts I’ve read so far are pretty strong language.

              I think he’s blaming USA alone for the gas pipes. He does use the word “anglo-saxons”, yes, but in the context he’s only talking about US and especially US elites.

            2. Sibiryak

              I wasn’t expecting him to make that so clear

              It was totally to be expected for anyone watching Russian MSM today. The US was explicitly and unambiguously blamed for the pipeline sabotage. On one show they had in the background a huge picture of a pipeline being attacked by US flags shaped as little subs…lol.

              1. GF

                Will all the NATO, US military bases and the US embassy be the first to have their gas and energy supplies shut off in solidarity with the German people? Or do they have a direct pipeline to Russia.

            3. S

              Putin’s speech was, indeed, full of fiery anti-Western rhetoric. It was a sweeping attack not only on the current neoliberal “rules-based-order”, but on the entire history of European colonialism as well. (It also included a brief defense of traditional family values which is sure to rile many “progressives.”)

  9. digi_owl

    Just noticed, while perusing some of the articles on Ukraine, that a certain mural of a launched Javelin seem to be well liked by journalists.

  10. digi_owl

    Anyways, is DC hoping that Ukraine will be another Grenada? As a way to restore wounded pride after their Vietnam like retreat from Afghanistan?

    1. nippersdad

      LOL. “The war ain’t over until the helicopters have lifted off of the embassy roof.”

      Had this gone off on schedule back in 2016 that might have been the case, but the election of Trump gave Russia et al the opportunity to strengthen their defenses to the degree that implementing the plan before the moth ball smell was even off of it was a mistake of galactic proportions. I foresee the US and Canada huddling up behind our Atlantic and Pacific moats, covetously watching the big boys play ball in a few years.

      We may be bitter, but at least we will be warm.

      If they had wanted to restore their wounded pride, destroying eighty years worth of influence over an area the size of New Jersey (initially, anyway) that no one could find on a map was not the way to go about it.

      1. tegnost

        Had this gone off on schedule back in 2016 that might have been the case

        This keeps coming up in my thought stream, that had the TPP been pushed through, which imo certainly would have happened had hillary won, how many of those countries not supporting usian policies would have been in the shackles of the TPP and unable or unwilling to go out on a limb against the hegemon? Plus Russia had 4 more years to get ready. Trump winning completely screwed everything up, timing wise.

          1. square coats

            reading this provided me with literally the first time I’ve been willing to entertain the idea for a minute :)

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I figure the only plan was to eliminate separatist forces and announce a NATO accession. When the Russians actually responded, there was no plan. We’ve been rushing random assortment of weapons in waves with no functional plan beyond march into superior Russian artillery. Sanctioning the Russian oligarchs. Inane plans to simply cap oil prices. Ignoring former colonial subjects except expecting them to do what they are told.

      Bubbles were burst. Local western populations have been so propaganidized people think a no fly zone could be achieved through wishes. There is little concept to what is occurring, and the Russians aren’t racing across the Ukraine to the Polish border, denying the opportunity for Kiev to drive up Russian casualties.

      Even now msm propaganda assures us the next batch of wonder weapons will defeat shoddy Russian equipment. The whole thing is a faith based exercise. After all, reporters have been on cool tours and heard how big a new bomb is or how far a plane can fly (with no context).

      I don’t think Western elites have the slightest idea of what is going on. Truss is off planning her libertarian utopia. Scholz is weak. Macron has a certain amount of political weakness. Italy is Italy with now an extreme right in the lowest election participation rate.

      The western freaks who bought the end of history with a “US led liberal world order” (when in reality it was about control of economic systems not leadership) and sat supreme confident in their righteousness are learning history keeps going and can’t handle this.

      1. Polar Socialist

        von der Leyen’s chief of staff slipped in an interview that the first sanctions package was agree on with the USA already in December (or January?).

        That would indicate the purpose was to force Russia to react militarily on Ukrainian “genocide” in Eastern Ukraine, and then crush Russian economy making the war a short one.

        The beaten Russia would have been lucky to retain Crimea, and Minsk Accords would have been buried in history while Eastern Ukraine was “de-communized” with a heavy hand.

        Did not happen, and now we’re here.

      2. Lex

        This. There was no plan after the first one failed because Russia didn’t do what it was supposed to do. Everything since has been panicked reactions and on-the-fly improvisations for short term gains (perceived) and winning a couple of news cycles.

  11. Lexx

    ‘The Forbes 400 2022’

    And still mostly male and white… not that more POC and women would make the list any less obscene, just a more diverse pathology.

    1. Mildred Montana

      I scrolled to the bottom of the list and there at a humiliating #359 was poor John Paulson, he of hedge fund fame who capitalized mightily (read: obscenely) on the housing crisis of 2007-2010.

      From Wiki: ‘His prominence and fortune were made in 2007 when he earned almost $4 billion and was transformed “from an obscure money manager into a financial legend” by using credit default swaps to effectively bet against the U.S. subprime mortgage lending market. In 2010, Paulson earned $4.9 billion. The Forbes real-time tracker estimated his net worth at $4.2 billion as of May 2020.’

      Paulson made almost $9B from the GFC, but by 2020 his net worth was slightly over $4B and today Forbes lists it at $3B. A decline of $6B in twelve years. That’s hard to do, I don’t care who you are.

      Where’d all the money go? Taxes and charitable donations don’t seem large enough to account for it all. I’m wondering if this former “financial legend” might not have a 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 gambling addiction. He is, after all, a hedge fund manager, and gambling—of all sorts—is in his bones.

        1. Mildred Montana

          The latest from Wiki: “Paulson filed for divorce in September, 2021, but has withdrawn his divorce action so both sides can negotiate out of court and out of the media.”

          That’s it. Nothing about his latest gold-digger, er, paramour. Apparently Paulson “avoids” the media. But I do hope the eventual settlement doesn’t knock Paulson out of the top 400. /sarc

      1. Lexx

        As long as I was in Whole Foods today buying salmon for the smoker this Sunday, I walked to the other side of the store to see ‘Steve’, a fourth generation meat cutter and my personal favorite. He’s from Kentucky.

        He informed me he’ll be leaving the store; he’s been promoted to meat manager and moving to take up that new position in Basalt, a bedroom community for those who work in Aspen. Happy for him, sad for me. Good personable meat cutters are rare in my experience and worth their weight in gold doubloons. I’ll be adding that to the list of grudges I hold against the billionaire class. It just got more personal.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Is black, brown and female faces acting the same as their white, male cohorts diversity? I guess if we’re using PMC rules…

      1. Monty Python's editor

        Just stipulate to the New Rules*.
        That, too, shall pass.

        *New Rules – obligatory mention of outrage du jour.

  12. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from the US Space Force anthem)

    As our critics will observe
    We’ve never been to where we serve
    We have no pressure suits
    Jetpacks or magnet boots
    We watch the Star Wars and Thor
    To learn what we’re fighting for
    Stuck on Earth as the days go by
    Our goal is to get real high

    Space is endless, empty cold
    But we’ll conquer as we’re told
    We will crush the aliens
    After that we’ll all be friends
    We defend our planet Earth
    From the ground for what it’s worth
    Someday we’ll be out on the move
    Until then we’ll stay in the groove

    All our fantasies fulfilled
    We’ll join the Million Mile High guild
    We will sail to distant stars
    As we wave the stars and bars
    The galaxy colonized
    All the aliens baptized
    When the heavens are on fire
    Tell me true, can we get much higher?

    1. Eclair

      Oh, Antifa! I needed a good laugh after reading Michael Hudson’s depressing predictions of Europe’s lengthy slide into USA-like developing world conditions. So happy we’re planning on baptizing those aliens! After getting real high!

  13. The Rev Kev

    “The CIA Just Invested in Woolly Mammoth Resurrection Technology”

    It’s not Woolly Mammoths that they are thinking about bringing back. Anybody remember the 2015 film “Jurassic World” which featured a security consultant named Vic Hoskins that was working for the government? And how he wanted to use raptors as military animals that can hunt people underground, in tunnels, will charge relentlessly and cannot be hacked? It is a thought- (8:29 mins)

        1. hk

          One would hope that they were bringing back Metternich and Bismarck. Reactionary they may have been, they valued peace and stability and abhorred political adventurism and war. CIA is literally designed for political adventurism and subversion of peace and stability.

  14. Stephen

    Record number of nurses leaving NHS

    I guess the comment about Starmer fixing things is ironic.

    I saw what happened at first hand during the days of the last Labour government. The creation of the Department of Health’s Commercial Directorate led by various Americans was part of the return to traditional Labour values after the prior Tory era. Lots of “interesting” outsourcing took place under that regime, some of which has actually been unwound over the past few years.

    Gordon Brown’s National Programme for IT was even more fun. There was a time back in 2004 or so when it when first class London to Leeds carriages were literally full to bursting on a Monday morning with consultants (management not medical) heading to the NHS offices there. My understanding is that the whole investment was pretty much written off in the end.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Satellites Capture First Images of Nord Stream’s Methane Leaks”

    I think that the gas will continue leaking for a coupla days more so after that we might be able to see underwater images if what these ruptures actually look like. Actually I don’t like that term ‘leaking’ as it implies a mere hole in that pipe whereas the reality would be that those pipelines will be absolutely devastated. I think that people will be shocked when they see the extent of the damage. But then again, it might take a very long time to see such images. Those areas will be de facto crime scenes with intruders shooed away so perhaps the only images will be ones that NATO countries eventually releases.

  16. Exild_in_Boston

    A case of the dog that didn’t bark? There has been very little about the referenda held in the eastern Ukraine that are being used to justify Russian annexation.

      1. tegnost

        I just checked the dog…oops I mean the seattle times….no barking about The terrorist attack against the pipeline (What! Terrorism gets no headline, or even a mention!???) but yes to barking about !Putin! (you have to spit when you say it) annexing the 4 regions….
        So yes the dog is barking about your pet project.
        I’m puzzled that such an act hasn’t driven crude higher, instead on low volume it putters along at about 80…when does that dog start barking?
        It’s ok though, I paid 5.50 a gallon yesterday so someone, somewhere is farting in silk….

    1. Polar Socialist

      Just picking a nit, but technically they are not annexations, if they are justified and of free volition. The referenda can be used to justify undoing the original annexation in 1921, that was done, I believe, against the will of the population (at least without the consent of the population).

      Other than that, not much to see there. The people voted, with very predictable results, and administrations are now acting on the results. The repercussions have been discussed in here already, but only future (even a very near future) will see what’s going to happen.

  17. Tommy S

    That Cook Mint Press article is a must read. Especially for anyone in the USA, that thinks there is a chance in hell that we can force drastic change needed by either reforming a certain party, or starting a new one. The entire media and corporate and political class will crush it. Dual power, bottom up non violent, direct action mass militant organizing is obviously the only way forward….at the least to put fear into them….like the 30’s did to FDR and others….at the most, to create the roots and tendrils for long term real economic and political change…..

    1. KD

      bottom up non violent, direct action mass militant organizing is obviously the only way forward….

      I’d like to introduce you to some undercover FBI informants who want to help in struggle and have some really interesting ideas.

      1. Tom Stone

        “The one who can get you a gun is a Fed.”
        Occupy was dealt with easily, any attempt to organize resistance in a Surveillance State such as the USA will be snuffed out.
        They can always find Kiddie Porn on your phone if a gentle hint doesn’t work.
        If you don’t believe LEO/FBI would do such a thing, Bless your heart.

        1. JBird4049

          The report reminds of McCarthyism, which was eventually used to destroy both the American Left (and moderate center) as well as persecute gays and lesbians. If a person even went near a “leftist” or soviet friendly organization, or the door of a gay/lesbian bar, that would be used to get them smeared, fired, and blacklisted, even imprisoned, whatever the truth. Restated, accusations of being a Fellow Traveler could get you effectively killed socially, if not literally.

          “All the Communists are all Stalinists and agents of the Kremlin; the Socialists are all really Communists (who are soviet agents); all the Leftists are really Socialists; all the Liberals are really Leftists; all the Civil Rights advocates are really Liberals; all the Moderates and even the Centrists (of both parties) are really Liberals.”

          The trade unions, the liberal churches, the various rights organizations, the supporters of the poor, the imprisoned, All were eventually weakened and often destroyed by this tactic. This is one of the reasons classical liberalism became neoliberalism because all the old school liberals, forget about the Left or even the pro-society, pro-law, anti-corruption Conservatives, were squeezed out of public life and politics.

          Ukraine is an old, very effective US-UK playbook. So far I have not seen any official, open modern Creel Committee, but I am sure there is one. Just like how COINTELPRO probably never really ended, just went even deeper into the shadows, the Neo-Creel Committee has been reopened covertly.

        2. JBird4049

          >>>Occupy was dealt with easily, any attempt to organize resistance in a Surveillance State such as the USA will be snuffed out.

          Each modern reiteration of the Left, such as it is, keeps getting pummeled until it gets quiet. The Occupy Movement was peaceful and easily crushed. The Keystone Pipeline and then the George Floyd Protests were more organized and determined than the protests before.

          I really do not know what the heck is going to happen, but if I had to guess, people are going to endure the winter and then come June, maybe August, it is going to hit the fan. The various protest and reform groups are going to be (re)organizing for next summer with the various security agencies infiltrating, or raiding as in the African Peoples Socialist Party.

          I also agree that the truncheons, blackmail, infiltration, kiddie porn, and assassinations are going to be abundantly used, but unless Americans try to get something like a Teal Party (after the Blue Democrats and the Red Republicans) first, the impetus for real pushback using whatever means necessary will not be there. Restated, this time’s version of Martin Luther King, Jr is going to have to be assassinated (again) or framed and imprisoned before whoever’s radicalized version of the new Malcom X will be followed.

          It will be interesting to see which faction tries to pull a coup especially in response to any successful reform movement; the National Conservatives, the older Religious Crusader Fascists, or the Democratic Financialized Security State. Each has overlap with one other faction and influence, maybe control, over different parts of the government and its 17 security agencies and the military. Then there is the “conservative” underground and its connections with the police. (I am not sure that the conservative label is correct. American Fascism? American Psuedo Ultras?) and the still nascent, but growing American Leftwing, some of which is getting armed.

          It sucks, Americans usually do the right thing last, but only when they have no other choices. Maybe we will luck out again and get a New Deal II before the bloodshed, but I don’t see that happening.

          The more I read and the closer we get to the next inflection point, whatever it is, the more scared I am. But it’s certainly interesting to this history and political economy nerd. I just wish that I was reading about like one reads the period pre Second World War, the Antebellum South, or pre Civil War Spain. Then there is the actual fighting to enjoy.

        3. Joe Renter

          individual acts from the anarchist cookbook might be in order. Think outside the box.
          And they say, Fed time, is the best time. A bonus if you can get a billionaire at the same time.

  18. tegnost

    I tried to get through the FP by Gideon Rose.

    Washington is picking its allies smartly and working with them closely

    smartly?… yeesh.

    His book is called
    “How Wars End”
    I won’t other reading it as it’s conclusion is obviously going to be “by the US winning.”

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Leave Crimea Alone”

    ‘Zelensky is entitled to dream of retaking the peninsula, but the Biden administration should firmly ground America’s Ukraine policy in reality.’

    They don’t get it. Crimea is the Grand Prize for Washington. Sevastopol can be turned into a US Navy base with nuclear missiles aimed at Russia, it denies Russia their only year-round ice-free port, it make naval operations more difficult for the Russians and to sweeten the deal, the US will get the Ukraine to ‘gift’ them all those off-shore hydrocarbon deposits to pay for everything. And the Crimeans themselves? I’m sure that the Israelis will be brought in to consult on what to do to a dissident population – like they were in the Iraq war. Or maybe the locals will be ‘encouraged’ to leave for Russia so that they can be replaced with loyal Ukrainians who will be able to pick up all sorts of real estate and businesses on the cheap. So everybody wins – until they don’t.

    1. Stephen

      I suspect the Royal Navy covets jollies in Sevastopol too. The British remember the Crimean War, another rather pointless conflict that had major unforeseen consequences. British, French and Ottomans invaded the Crimea because we could not figure out what else to do.

  20. Monty Python's Editor

    A blip to be forgotten by history, except as an enabler.
    Causation chain looks like this.
    Bubba can’t keep pants on, gets blackmailed, caves to Rubin and gang.
    GOP lashes out, raises money for installation of W.
    Jebbie! does his part.
    Wars follow.
    Rights disappear.
    Donkey kicks, nominates some nobody named Obama.
    Further rights disappear.
    Banks enriched.
    People suffer more, tent cities spring up.
    Hillary and State ruin countries, expand eastward.
    Both sides of aisle pocket funds laundered through Ukraine.
    Putin has had enough, pushes back.
    Both sides panic, divert billions from suffering Americans to prop up Nazis to cover tracks.
    End game approaching, stock up.

  21. Lex

    Did NATO blink? The big response Zelensky had was to sign an application to join NATO but stoltenberg’s “unprecedented” comment included nothing new and that Ukraine would not be accepted because it requires member consensus. Which means they don’t have it. The US only announced sanctions on more Russians, but may not be done.

    Perhaps it’s time for one of the NC lyricists to rewrite slip sliding away …

  22. ambrit

    Quickie Zeitgeist Watch Report.
    Earlier this morning I was trundling back from the local small grocery store with my goods in a two wheeled shopping cart, “Geezer Go-Mobile (TM)” wearing the backpack with the cold goods inside when an upper middle class looking thirty-something woman stopped next to me and stared at me.
    “Good morning,” I said, “Can I be of assistance?”
    “Is this your neighbourhood? Why are you here? Are you homeless?” poured out of her mouth in a torrent.
    I know not why, but I responded in ‘Snark,’ the Late Empire English dialect.
    “Homeless? No ma’am,” said I, “I only look that way.”
    She visibly stiffened up, swiveled her head to the forward position, gripped the steering wheel tightly in the Ten and Two position and roared off in her late model four door sedan.
    I fear that I did not make a friend there.
    Still, it shows that the PMCs and adjacent are beginning to worry about the deplorables in their midst.
    Stay safe! Be polite. The life you save might be your own.

    1. petal

      ambrit, you should’ve asked her why she was there, if that was her neighbourhood, and if she was homeless.

      1. ambrit

        “I’m sorry dear to see you living out of your car. Just like the high fashion women in California! Here, I can spare some of the food I have in my backpack.”
        No good would have come of it, but the temptation is strong, I agree.
        Be safe and warm up there!

    2. The Rev Kev

      You could have had her on. Said ‘No ma’ am.’ Quickly looking left and right, and then said ‘I’m undercover. I watching out for any deplorables trying to infiltrate their way into the neighbourhood. We’ve had reports!’ Last place I was assigned to, real estate values dropped $20,000 in a week because too many of them got it. Have a nice day.’

      1. ambrit

        She probably would have asked to see my FBI credentials.
        The most recent example of someone offering me something, as in, “Here homeless guy. Here’s a hamburger.” happened from a car that was leaving the parking lot of the local State Unemployment Office. Go figure.

  23. Wukchumni

    I asked to be in the club in the North Atlantic
    Where you think help will come and restore order
    O R D E R, order
    They walked up to me and said adding the Ukraine was just arithmetic
    I asked to be part of the org and be defended by NATO
    N A T O, NATO

    Well I’m not the world’s most physical guy
    But I wear a green shirt that you can buy
    Oh my NATO, please don’t negate oh!
    Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
    Why NATO didn’t have me in the plan
    Oh my NATO, its never too late, oh

    Well we drank in the doom and prayed all night
    With all our might
    They’ll hopefully pick me up in our hour of need
    And say little stand up comic won’t you be with me
    Well I’m not the world’s most stand up guy
    But i’ve got a couple reasons why to be in
    Na-na-na-na NATO, na-na-na-na NATO
    NATO na-na-na-na NATO na-na-na-na NATO
    I pushed their way
    I walked to the door
    I fell to the floor
    I got down on my knees
    Then I looked at them and them at me

    Well that’s the way that I want it to stay
    And I always want it to be that way for my NATO
    Na-na-na-na NATO
    Capitalists will be commies and commies will be capitalists
    It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for NATO
    Na-na-na-na NATO

    Well we kicked ass just a week before
    And I’d never ever tasted victory before
    But NATO smiled and took me by the hand
    And said dear boy I’m gonna include you in the band

    Well I’m not the world’s most stand up man
    But I know what I am and really have no plan
    And so does NATO
    Na-na-na-na NATO, na-na-na-na NATO
    NATO na-na-na-na NATO na-na-na-na NATO

    Lola, by the Kinks

  24. Pelham

    Since it appears pretty likely that the US blew up Nordstream, here’s my guess: The US very quietly goes to the Germans and admits it carried out the attack while pointing out that Germany has nothing to gain by airing the truth. Rather, Germany should join the US — which has all the major media in its back pocket to help — in blaming Russia, furthering the global vilification needed as prerequisite to eventually dismember that country and seize the great prize of its remaining resources, thus completing Operation Barbarossa. With no possibility of receiving gas via the vital Nordstream line for years, it’s an offer the Germans can’t refuse.

    1. Lex

      Not bad. The question is whether the US and NATO actually have the means to do it *and* if they’re willing to risk nuclear armageddon to try.

      1. hk

        Yeah, Germans had gone down that road before, multiple times. One might remember that a large proportion of Napoleon’s Grande Armee was actually German, as several German states were “asked” to join in the rndeavor. Obviously, things worked out great back then.

    2. Tom Bradford

      it’s an offer the Germans can’t refuse

      Granted the German leadership doesn’t have many options now, but what about the German people. Alexander Mercouris in his today’s blog remarks that “the Germans” aren’t going to be fooled as to who did this but doesn’t enlarge on it. As the consequences of this hit home, is your average German going to swallow the official line that the evil Russians did it or is it going to be widely accepted that they’ve been royally shafted by the US for the ‘greater good’? And in the latter case what is the reaction going to be?

  25. Antifa

    The answer to that question is NO, we can’t do it.

    America-NATO’s blitzkrieg approach of combined ground, air, satellite, and electronically coordinated warfare is unstoppable against small, swarthy countries. They don’t know what hit them.

    But when this blitz goes against Russia, the first thing that will happen is that Russia will turn off all our electronic coordination and communication, including satellites. While theirs is untouched, and working.

    America-NATO will suddenly feel very swarthy, and wonder what hit them.

    And then the nukes will come out . . .

    1. britzklieg

      This. Before Russia is erased as a country and a culture (the ultimate goal of the psychopaths in charge) the world as we know it will end. There is no “off-ramp” from fighting for one’s life. The fight ends for both sides once the nukes are unleashed. No one wins that war.

  26. Minnesota RN

    Today, at the hairdresser’s, I asked Alexa “Who blew up the Nordstream Pipelines?”
    She answered “Russia blew up the Nordstream Pipelines.”

    I found that interesting.

  27. Mikel

    “YouTube Apologizes, Reverses Demonetization Decision” Matt Taibbi, TK New

    That’s why people need to keep their books.

    The biggest frauds are to come with YouTube and the like promoting them.

  28. square coats

    Gotta love Forbes’ mini bio for Len Blavatnik:

    “Source: music, chemicals

    Born in Ukraine, raised north of Moscow, Len Blavatnik emigrated to the U.S. in 1978 for school; he studied computer science at Columbia University.”

    No mention of his participation in 1990s plundering of Russia, just happened to pick the right major at a prestigious uni I guess?

Comments are closed.